Monday, 16 July 2012

Coconut Macaroons - inspired by Christiania, Copenhagen

My husband and our two good friends Tina and Gunnar ate out in a vegetarian cafe in Christiania in Copenhagen. Christiania, according the the little guide book we had,  is the second most visited tourist destination in Copenhagen. It is a free thinking, self governing entity of it's own creation.  There are only three main rules in this
rather large independent community – Don't run  – No cameras – and have fun! 

It has tinges of Nimbin to it. If Nimbin was allowed to run free it would look something like Christiania. Every few metres were creative sculptures or colourful murals.  There are no real building regulations. Many houses were made from all sorts of recycled bits and pieces, with many incredibly unique houses everywhere.  

It was a busy little place, this cafe, that our two friends had eaten in many times. With quirky wooden furniture and colourful art work on the walls, and that typical smell of an old school vegetarian cafe, I began to relax. 
The menu was sparse, three specials of the day and four salads to choose from. The food was simple but delicious with unusual flavours and combinations that I wasn't used to. Yum. Now I could cross off this little cafe on my 'to do' list of vegetarian/raw cafes to visit on our week holiday in Copenhagen. 

Occasionally I get inspired by something I eat when I'm out. It's like a light goes on in my heart first then in my mind. "I have to make this!" my heart sings with glee. Something new to try. Here in this cafe in Christiania my taste buds and heart opened like a joyful flower. We ate these giant coconut macaroons. "I love it" I exclaimed to my friends Tina and Gunnar, several times! "Delicious!" There was no sharing this with Caspar, he'll have to get his own!

I ask the lovely cook Marie Francoise if she would share the recipe with me, after going on and on to her about how much I loved the Coconut macaroons, how delicious they were and she said " sure I can share this recipe with you". She like me is an experimental cook and was happy to divulge the ingredients used in the macaroons. She wasn't sure of the exact quanities and explained it in simple details like 'a little of this' or 'just enough to bind'.  So I played around with it and this is what I came up with. I hope they sing to you like they first did to me in the quirky cafe in Christiania.

Makes =20  
Line a muffin tin with mini squares cut out in baking paper (helps to keep the tall cone-like shape

1/4 cup macadamia or almond oil
1 cup maple syrup
3 cups des. Coconut
2 cups shredded coconut
1 tbs baking powder
3/4 cup spelt flour 
4 tbs arrowroot powder
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
zest of a lime or lemon

30gm dark organic chocolate to drizzle

Turn oven to 180C 

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl along with the lime or lemon zest. Then add the vanilla to the maple syrup and stir.  Add that mix and the oil to the dry bowl of ingredients. Combine thoroughly. Spoon into pre-prepared muffin trays and mound coconut high into a slight point.  Place in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Be sure to brown them quite golden so the mixture is cooked right through.

Cool on a cooling rack and then drizzle with chocolate.

Melt chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan with water. Be careful not to get any water or steam into the bowl of melting chocolate (it goes stiff and lumpy) Using a teaspoon, run the spoon full of chocolate over the macaroons creating a stripy effect.

The original inspiration! Such glorious memories, delicious!  

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